The Smithsonian donated some 22,000 pounds of ceramic fragments dating back to 3000 B.C. to a simulated dig site for a Dead Sea Scrolls exhibition at Fort Worth’s Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.
And finders, keepers for students who dig at the site during the fascinating exhibition “Dead Sea Scrolls & the Bible: Ancient Artifacts, Timeless Treasures”, which continues through January 13.
View slideshow: Smithsonian gave 22,000 pounds of ancient shards from Israel to Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit in Fort Worth, Texas
Melinda Zeder, curator of old world archaeology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, told me, “We gave the exhibit about 22,000 pounds of material which will likely total many hundreds of thousands of sherds — We say ‘sherds’ not ‘shards’ — from a dig site in Israel.” Each tiny sherd is imprinted with its own number designating Smithsonian-certification.
The exhibition itself displays 21 fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the earliest Biblical texts ever discovered. One of the largest Dead Sea Scrolls exhibits ever in the United States, 12 of the fragments had never been seen publicly, and eight fragments are owned by the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.